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DPRG: please dont send file attachments to the list

Subject: DPRG: please dont send file attachments to the list
From: Robert Singleton slugmusk at alias.flash.net
Date: Tue Aug 17 16:45:31 CDT 1999

The issue of attachments sent to the list is apparently a hot one, as
this is not the first time it has come up. I don't see what the big deal
is. The rules of the list either imply or state that users should not
attach binaries to list messages, so we don't.

Somebody wrote:
 
> )You can get free web pages from many places such as geocities
> )etc.  Or if you ask nicely, Eric Yundt would be happy to place
> )your image on the dprg web site.  See you do have "any".

And was answered with:

> Nope, I don't have any, and I'm not going to get any.
> And they aren't free.

As for the first line, this is absolutely your right, but there are
really just two issues to be weighed here.

1.	An individual's desire to not have/maintain/etc a webpage.
2.	The DPRG's desire to not propogate attachments to subscribers.

This is a case where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the
few.

Personally, I am using a 64K ISDN line at work and a cable modem at
home, so in MY case, even large attachments would be of little or no
consequence to me. This is not true for all users. In a cooperative
environment such as we try to maintain, we try to be sure that we don't
hammer someone with slow or time limited internet access or any of a
myriad of other channels that are not friendly to attachments, binary or
otherwise, by not sending attachments to the list. The parameters of the
listserver attempt to enforce this by limiting the size of any post to
40K. I had (nor desired) any input to it, but I'm sure that 40K was
chosen because it was large enough to ensure that any text that anyone
could conceive being posted *for all to see* would be virtually
unlimited, but that graphic files or other overwhelmingly large files
would be truncated or discarded.

That one can produce a graphic that is smaller, even much smaller, than
40K attached is to adhere to the letter of the rule while completely
missing the spirit of it.

Outlook, cc_mail and probably other clients tend to handle a lot of
things by automatically attaching text or HTML to a message. This is
debatably permissible, but Outlook or cc_mail's modus operandi aside,
for the greater good of the list's subscribers, email posted to the list
should not have attachments, particularly binary attachments. 

In my opinion, if you want to display a graphic or other such file for
the group, it becomes your responsibility to find an *appropriate* place
or method to display it. This may mean that you might have to send one
text message to the list and one text plus attachment message to the
person who asked for the information, but as I see it, if you are
willing to scan, produce or locate a graphic to clarify an explaination
then this is not much more to ask.

Everybody on the list, pretty much by definition, wants to share
information and welcomes everyone's contribution. Some users here have
attempted to assist by suggesting zero cost methods to display the
information to share. Since posting an attachment to the list is not
fair to the other users, it is up to each user to follow those
suggestions, find another solution or not share the information.

To the issue of webspace cost, there are many places where a person can
put up a couple of megs of webspace for no monetary charge, such as
Geocities and Yahoo. Existentially, there is a "cost" associated with
each of them, in that they have generally have inescapable banners and
other non-editable elements, usually crediting the provider and/or their
sponsors, was well as limitations concerning objectionable content (now,
THERE is a can of worms!). Is this the usage of "free" that was meant?

Robert Singleton

- -- 
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Robert Singleton

Lord Robert of Slugglen
House Mac An Ghabhann
Canton of Loch Ruadh
Kingdom of Ansteorra
Planet Earth
The Sol System
The Milky Way
Universe Unspecified

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 When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl.
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